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Is Gender Discrimination Still a Problem in the 21st Century?

The twentieth century saw more advances in women's rights than at any other time in history. Women in many countries gained the right to vote, the right to own property, the introduction of birth control, and equal employment rights. But despite much-needed legislation to empower women in nations like the United States and United Kingdom, gender discrimination still presents a significant problem for women across the world in the twenty-first century.

Women continue to face discrimination in their everyday lives with rape and violence and pay inequities in the workplace. They are also still more likely to suffer from poverty, despite the fact that more women are working than ever before. There are many articles available which may help you understand what is gender inequality and what exactly these inequalities are.

Caught in a Trap

The so-called gender gap in pay is one of the most contentious areas of prejudice against working women. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) annually measures pay differentials between men and women across the world. They continue to report persistent gaps in both the developed and developing world. The gap in European Union (EU) nations, the US, and Australia has been reduced significantly because of equal pay legislation in the 1960s. However, the differences found in reports between the salaries of men and women continue to identify both direct and indirect gender discrimination.

Another obvious example of prevalent gender discrimination in the twenty-first century is in business. Despite the fact that more women than ever occupy top corporate positions, their presence is not reflected in membership on company boards. The EU has considered introducing legislation to force companies to appoint a certain number of female directors and the debate on quotas is one that continues on both sides of the Atlantic.

Archaic Attitudes

While it is arguable that women's rights in the west have improved immeasurably over the last century, the fight for those in less progressive nations goes on. Religious and cultural pressures coupled with unjust laws often oppress women as second-class citizens. In these nations, basic human rights and freedoms that are enjoyed by men are inaccessible to women.

Education is considered the key to self-improvement and financial independence. And it is this vital element for survival and success in the modern world that is denied to many women in the Middle East, parts of the Far East, and Africa. In these places, women are forced to remain subservient in the home and in society at-large.

No Escape from Brutality

Sexual, physical, and mental violence against women all remain too common. However, this is not just a problem in unprogressive nations. Incidences of rape and sexual assault continue to rise everywhere while prosecutions remain low. Societal attitudes towards these offences are continually prejudiced against the victim. It is clear that the need to combat gender discrimination continues into the modern age. Women are often still the subject of bigotry and hate simply because of their gender.

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